Caldwell scores brace as Cardinals fly past Eagles

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State football team returned to the friendly grounds of the Briner Sports Complex for the Mid-American Conference home opener against Eastern Michigan on Sunday. Delaney Caldwell led the Cardinals with two goals, as BSU beat EMU 5-0.

The Cardinals improved to 2-3-4 overall and 1-0-1 in MAC play, while the Eagles fell to 1-5-3 overall and 0-1-1 in conference action.

“It was a great team win today,” said the head coach Josh Rif. “There have been some frustrating moments this season, but the team have stuck to the process and I’m happy they got a great result like today.”

In the 11th minute, Caldwell fired a shot from outside the box and buried it in the top right corner for the game’s first goal.

“It was awesome,” Caldwell said. “It was really fun. It was great teamwork. I’m happy to have scored the goals, especially the second one, I didn’t think it was going to come in. I think we brought a lot more energy throughout the match. We won all our personal battles. We talked about being more physical.

The Cardinals limited the Eagles to just one shot on goal in the first half and Bethany Moser was there for backup. BSU beat EMU 8-3 in the first frame.

The Cardinals got a corner in the 48th minute. Lexy Smith took the corner and put a well-placed ball into the box. Abby Elgert was there and directed him to the goal where Avery Fenchel has been. Fenchel made sure there was no doubt the ball was in the net as she sent it into the top of the net. It was Fenchel’s fourth consecutive game with a goal.

Elgert found herself in position for her second assist of the match as she sent a ball deep past Caldwell. Caldwell drilled straight at the EMU keeper and crossed the keeper’s hands for his second goal of the game in the 62nd minute.

Ryann Locante dribbled the ball from the near side of the pitch towards the penalty area. She found Jenna Dombrowski just inside the box, who fired a shot just inside the far post beating a tight keeper to put the Cardinals ahead 4-0 in the 72nd minute.

At the 88th minute, Alex McPhee played a ball over his head and towards the EMU box. Tori Monaco used an excellent first touch, before landing a shot just outside the box that beat the keeper at the far post. It was Monaco’s first collegiate goal.

Ball State’s defense was outstanding and limited the Eastern Michigan offense to just five shots, only one of which was on target. The Cardinals peppered the Eagles net with 19 shots, including 12 shots on goal.

Fenchel produced his team-leading sixth goal this season. Caldwell finished with his first multi-goal game and took his tally to three on the year. Dombrowski and Monaco each scored their first goals of the 2022 campaign. Elgert took his season tally to three assists with his two today. Smith, Locante and McPhee all recorded their first assists of the season.

Moser improved to 2-3-4 in goal. Moser and Kaylie Kappelman combined for laundry.

Rebecca Prybylo fell to 1-4-3 that year as she made five saves and allowed three goals. Kevser Guendogdu played 21:03 and made two saves and allowed two goals.

The Cardinals stay home for the next contest on Thursday, Sept. 29, as the NIU Huskies come to Muncie. First contact is scheduled for 4 p.m. on ESPN+/3.

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